Several years ago, I had a show at a local gallery and befriended the gallery owner. From there, i met a couple of people who influence and inspire me at art and keep my vision going.
One of them is very active with printmaking in the local art community and I have been following her on Facebook. She has been inviting me to travel with her for some time now. She also has workshops and classes offered locally at various times. I had noticed one on printmaking and bookmarked it, time came around and I asked if it was still available and found out it was cancelled due to lack of interest. Bummer. But I was invited to a session at her personal workshop for a girl’s night out. Sounds interesting… I just needed to bring dessert.
So, I showed up. What I didn’t know was dinner was included and dessert was the intro to creating.
After we finished dessert, and someone made Chess Pie and I bless her, we went downstairs to the workshop. I was handed a 12×12 inch piece of wood for a woodcut print. I had to come up with a design, draw it out, cut it into relief and ready it to print. Aaaghhhh. That was too much real estate for me to jump into, especially since the last time I did a woodcut was in HIGH SCHOOL…. That’s almost too many years ago for me to contemplate. I asked for a smaller piece and the lady next to me handed me a piece of a size I could deal with.
Then I had to look for something I could draw out and use for the design. Pinterest came to mind so I browsed a few pictures I had pinned. I found a dragonfly (what else) that would work. I drew it out, carved it, did a few prints, carved some more, another print or two, and it was looking sweet!
There were six of us attending. I usually feel awkward when I’m in an unfamiliar group of people. I knew the host, sort of, and was planning my usual strategy of sitting quietly on the sidelines and watching and listening for a while first. The usual introvert’s plan with people they don’t know. I was introduced to everyone and I remember a Pat, and I remember the face to go with that name, and I think there was a Carla but I don’t remember other names. I’m terrible with names. I was introduced and said hi to everybody and sat down. Conversation progressed. Some time later something was said about shyness and I commented I related to it. They were like we would never have thought that about you. I replied, I work in retail and I have learned to fake it.
Strange thing is, I felt like I was settling into a groove with them where I belonged. It was totally comfortable. We got into the workshop and everybody was totally into their own thing but also totally admiring everybody else with their thing. The creative energy multiplied on itself.
I chose a dragonfly sitting on a lotus bud. Drawing was easy, carving was easy too. The comments passing back and forth were easy like a bunch of BFF’s that had been together a long time. Everybody was working on their own level and all was good.
I left with several prints of my dragonfly and a renewed enthusiasm for art. I have plans for my next project and it will be on one of those big squares of wood.
And somehow I feel I have been expanded, something has been let out of confinement and I refuse to let it be squished down again.
I will be back to Girls Night Out.